The kick-off to this year’s Black History Month was anything but celebratory when at more than a dozen historically Black colleges and universities in five states and the District of Columbia received bomb threats, resulting in a few of them locking down their campuses.
Right here in Los Angeles, the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science received a bomb threat at approximately 11:45 PM on Monday, January 31. The threat was made via a phone call to a campus-related phone number stating that a bomb would be detonated on the campus.
However, a thorough check of the campus by the Sherriff’s Department did not turn up anything unusual. It was then determined that the campus was safe and that the bomb threat was not valid.
The threat follows another hoax bomb threat made earlier in the month toward CDU and coincides with a wave of bomb threats that have been made against Historically Black College and University (HBCU) campuses across the country.
While no bombs were found, the campuses threatened included Howard University, Alcorn State University, the University of the District of Columbia, Morgan State University, Kentucky State University, Xavier University of Louisiana, Philander Smith College and Jackson State University.
“We can confirm that ATF has responded,” said Thomas Chittum, acting deputy director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives. “Of course, it is a federal crime to use interstate facilities to make a bomb threat, and so ATF will provide our investigative expertise and support to that investigation, but obviously, the facts are preliminary and unfolding.”
Federal, state, and local authorities are continuing their investigation into these threats.